Earl Thomas may be Baltimore bound, but Seattle will always be special to him.
So much, in fact, that the veteran safety hopes to sign a ceremonial contract that will allow him to retire a Seahawk when he decides to hang up his helmet.
“I envision myself retiring as a Seahawk,” Thomas said Wednesday on The Rich Eisen Show. “I would never burn a bridge there. You know, I still love my teammates. I definitely see myself signing maybe a one-day deal, and hopefully, they’ll hang my jersey in the rafters.”
Despite thinking he was going to land in Kansas City, Thomas inked a one-year contract worth $12 million with the Ravens last month.
He was initially selected by the Seahawks with the No. 14 overall pick in 2010 and had spent his entire nine-year career in Seattle, though he missed 12 games last season after suffering a broken leg. Thomas notoriously flipped the bird to his own sideline as he was carted off the field with his leg in an air cast after going down with the injury.
“My feelings towards the organization at the time, I was very heated, very frustrated,” Thomas told Eisen about the gesture he made towards Pete Carroll in his final game in Seattle. “But when you look at the blessing that the Ravens organization has believed in me and gave me this mega-deal, I put all the stuff behind me and start to focus immediately on my new teammates and the Ravens organization.
“But obviously, everything that we’ve been through [in Seattle], everything I gave to that team, I felt kind of disrespected. But I know it’s a business, I know they’ve got other guys they need to pay like Russ [Russell Wilson], Frank Clark, Bobby [Wagner], and they’re very deserving as well.”
New #Ravens safety @Earl_Thomas was very candid about his departure from Seattle and if he would one day leave open the door to retire as a Seahawk: pic.twitter.com/87CHlEJhVq
— Rich Eisen Show (@RichEisenShow) April 10, 2019
Thomas, who turns 30 in May, has the 10th most interceptions (28) of any active player in the NFL and ranks 23rd in the league in total combined tackles (684).